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the authority to which Jesus was exalted was simply of a spiritual nature, And he hath put all things under his feet, and given him, as head over all things, To THE CHURCH, which is his body, the fulness of him who filleth all his members with all things.-I am totally unable to perceive why one who as to nature was a man only, could not be exalted to this high dignity and authority, by the working of that mighty power of God (vs. 19,) by which He also raised Jesus from the dead.
3.) Phil. ii. 9-11.
that in the name of
Wherefore (see No. 38.) God also hath highly exalted him, and bestowed upon him a name which is above every name,' authority superior to all other, Jesus,' under his authority, every knee should bow' to God, of beings heavenly, earthly, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.'-This passage is, in its general import, abundantly plain. The exaltation of Jesus consists in the extension and final universal prevalence of his spiritual authority.
If this passage be compared with Rom. xiv. 11, it will appear probable that the Apostle had a reference to the passage which he there quotes to show that every one must appear before the judgement-seat of Christ (vs 10.), and give an account of himself to God, (vs. 12.) Taking into consideration this similarity, and that Jesus is said to have been made Lord of the dead and the living, together with the probable use of the phrase things in heaven and things on earth' to denote Jews and Gentiles, I apprehend that the Apostle meant to comprehend the consummation of the Gospel dispensation, as well as the present periods of it, and to intimate that all mankind, Jews and Gentiles, the living and the dead, should awn the authority of Jesus.
4.) 1 Pet. iii. 22. Who is gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities. and powers,' all heavenly and earthly power which respected the propagation of the Gospel, having been made subject to him.*
5.) Matt. xxviii. 18-20. Our Lord himself, when giving his Apostles their commission to preach the Gospel to all nations, says All power' or authority, souria, has been given me in heaven and earth. The connexion determines the extent, though not the precise nature of that authority; it was authority to rule in the hearts of all men, whatever their religious and civil distinctions. If, as appears to me very probable (see No. 22), our Saviour here employs the word heaven to denote the Jewish nation, and of course earth to denote. the Gentile world, the assertion refers to the union, in the Gospel dispensation, of both Jews and Gentiles, according to his prediction in John x. 16: if it is to be taken more literally, it probably refers to those miraculous powers which he was authorized to send from heaven in order to extend and hasten the spread of his Gospel, and to the spiritual sovereignty which, by the glorious influences of the Gospel, he was to exercise among all.-Whatever be the precise meaning of the expression, which, probably, we have not facts enough to enable us to determine, it appears to me clear, from the connexion, that it refers to the universality of his spiritual authority, and not to the degree or nature of the power by which it was to be exercised.
6.) In Rev. i. 18, our Lord says to his favoured disciple, I live for ever and ever, and I have the
keys of death and the grave,' I have authority, to call the dead from the grave, and to give unto my sheep eternal life.
Respecting the nature of the dignity and authori ty which were given to Jesus in consequence of his faithful and complete execution of the work assigned to him, we must be contented with the informa-. tion which we may derive from the Scriptures; and I believe the following is all which we can learn from that source, respecting the concern which our Saviour has had in the affairs of men, since his ascension. (1) He was authorized by God to communicate the holy spirit, during the apostolical age, to his Apostles, if not to his disciples at large. This I infer from John xiv. 13. xv. 26. xvi. 7.
Acts ii. 33. In this last passage, Peter declares the authority by which Jesus communicated the spirit; and in the course of his speech to the Jews, delivered in consequence of the Apostles' having received the spirit, he speaks of Jesus as a MAN, and does not, though he speaks of his exaltation, give the slightest intimation that he was, as to nature, more than man. The speech is highly remarkable in every point of view; and I think may be considered as a proof, that the communication of the holy spirit gave them no new information as to the nature of Jesus. (2) On several occasions he manifested himself to his Apostles, by direct spiritual communications, and sometimes by personally appearing to them. The Apostle Paul seems to have received not only his commission, but all requisite instruction respecting the exercise of it, directly from his glorified Lord; see Gal. i. 1. 12.
1 Cor. xi. 23, &c. (3) By means of the miraculous communications made to his disciples, the glorious doctrines of the Gospel were most rapidly and extensively diffused and embraced; the spiritual rule of Jesus, (the reception of him as the Son of God, and the consequent submission to his authority,) was, during the life of Paul, extended through the Roman empire, and his sovereignty had been owned by men of all ranks and distinctions; and (notwithstanding the most bitter opposition) by the influences of those glad tidings of pardon and everlasting life which he brought from God, aided by those striking displays of divine power with which the testimony of the Apostles was confirmed, he was in a most astonishing manner subduing all to himself. What joy, what triumph, must this scene afford to the benevolent Jesus!-to see myriads in every region, sharing in the great and glorious blessings of the Gospel, brought over by them from sin and darkness, to holiness and happiness, to regard this as only the beginning of that kingdom of truth and righteousness, which would be gradually extended over the whole earth, and would put down all opposing authority and power, and to feel that he had been made the agent in producing all this good, must have been a full recompense for the shame and suffering which he endured, and was without doubt that joy for which he endured them, and so became the author of eternal salvation to all that believe in him. When we bear in mind that Paul was so much the honoured instrument and witness of the astonishing spread of the Gospel and rule of Jesus, can we wonder that he should speak
in such elevated language respecting that power to which our Saviour had been exalted, and of that change in the moral world which was thereby rapidly effected? See p. 46, 50. (4) Whether Jesus has at present any direct and personal concern in the regulation of his spiritual kingdom, we are not certainly informed; it seems, however, not unreasonable to suppose, that the intellectual powers of our exalted Lord have been continually extending, that he is acquainted with all the spiritual concerns of his disciples, and that he is still employed in some way or other for the benefit of his church. Such appears to be the idea of the Writer to the Hebrews, when he says (vii. 25,) Wherefore he is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him, since he EVER liveth to interpose, EVTUYXaVELY", for them.' However, this may refer to nothing more than. " the continual operation and effect of his miracles and doctrine in the world, by which men are brought to believe in God by him, and to be saved." The language of the Apostle Paul (Rom. viii. 34,) is similar, but does not ne
"It is principally, if not solely, upon the employment of this word that the strange idea is founded, that Jesus is now employed in interceding with God for his saints. I am not
aware how this can be shown to be consistent with the doctrine that Jesus made a full satisfaction to God for the sins of men but where reason is not employed in the interpretation of Scripture, consistency will be uc object, and need not be expected. The fact is, as Schleusner has remarked, (though he refers the expressions above quoted to the efficacious merits of the death of Christ,) that srvyxxvw Use Tivos signifies, to do. any thing for the benefit of any one. If Paul had meant "intercedeth with God," he would probably have added ry, as he does in Rom, xi. z.: How he maketh intercession to God against Israel.'